Mountain Views, Valley Vistas-and Plenty to Eat and Drink
Sacramento, CA

Pair winter sports with dining, sipping microbrews, and sampling local olive oil on a winding tour starting in the Gold Country, then moving on to the Central Valley, into the mountains and the Shasta Cascade region.

Length of trip: 3-5 days
Total distance: 993 miles/1598 km

Sacramento. Start in the state capital, an emerging hotbed for locally sourced, seasonal dining. At Mulvaney’s B&L , chef-owner Patrick Mulvaney serves up meaty, modern fare. At Grange chef Michael Tuohy’s sophisticated cooking ranges from house-made charcuterie to gnocchi with Niman Ranch short rib ragu. For more information: Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau .

Fresno (172 mi/277 km; 2 hr 52 min). Shop and stroll at Fresno’s upscale Fig Garden Village , which boasts numerous specialty and culinary shops. When you get hungry, visit family-owned favorite The Lime Lite or try Cal-Ital specialties at Five . For more information: Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau .

Madera (25 mi/ 40 km; 28 min). Take a jaunt along the peaceful Madera Wine Trail , whose hidden gems include Quady Winery . Then head to The Vineyard Restaurant , which showcases local ingredients. For more information: Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau .

Oakhurst (43 mi/69 km; 53 min). This little town is the gateway to Yosemite’s pristine winter wonderland and cross-country skiing trails—not to mention sleigh rides and skating. Fuel up at the elegant and widely acclaimed Erna’s Elderberry House . For more information: Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau .

South Lake Tahoe (210 mi/338 km; 4 hr 45 min). After enjoying the slopes at Heavenly and Kirkwood, get cozy at lakefront Riva Grill or neighborhood favorite Nepheles (locals know not to miss the relaxing spas out back). Thirsty? Raise a glass at Après Wine Company . For more information: El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce .

Fair Play (68 mi/109 km; 1 hr 47 min). Tucked in an isolated valley down the road from South Lake Tahoe’s dazzle, you’ll find the hidden gem of a wine region around tiny Fair Play, with acclaimed wineries and intimate bistros like Zachary Jacques . For more information: El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce .

Placerville (17 mi/27 km; 35 min). The rolling foothills surrounding Gold Rush–era Placerville are rich with culinary treasure these days. Enjoy barrel tasting at El Dorado’s excellent wineries  or sample olive oil at Winterhill Farms . Placerville’s charming downtown offers numerous dining options, including Cascada and Sequoia . For more information: El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce .

Chico (130 mi/209 km; 2 hr 23 min). Break up your drive with a leg-stretching hike in sprawling Bidwell Park. Then stop by small-town-brewer-gone-big-time Sierra Nevada Brewing Co . for a free guided tour—and a frothy glass in the handsome bar. For more information: Shasta-Cascade Wonderland Association .

Chester (66 mi/106 km; 1 hr 17 min). Remote, snowy, and peaceful, the high country around Chester affords unforgettable cross-country skiing and snowshoeing around Lake Almanor. Warm up with hearty dining at Chester’s Red Onion Grill . For more information: Shasta-Cascade Wonderland Association .

Redding (102 mi/164 km; 1 hr 51 min). Work up an appetite wandering the botanical garden at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Then dig into deliciously prepared seafood at Buz’s Crab Stand , a local favorite. For more information: Shasta-Cascade Wonderland Association

Sacramento (162mi/261km; 2 hr 37 min). Raise a glass at the end of your journey in historic Old Sacramento. The Firehouse boasts a legendary wine cellar and fabulous upscale cuisine, while The Pilothouse at the Delta King , a restaurant aboard a restored riverboat, serves locally sourced fare. For more information: Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau .

Mulvaney's B&L
1215 19th St Ste 100
Sacramento, CA   95811-4161
(916) 441-6022

926 J St
Sacramento, CA   95814-2703
(916) 447-2700

Fig Garden Village
7700 N Van Ness Blvd
Fresno, CA   93711-0436
(559) 439-2928

The Lime Lite
1054 W Shaw Ave
Fresno, CA   93711-3701
(559) 224-1054

Madera Wine Trail
PO Box 697
Madera, CA   93639-0697
(800) 733-8068

Quady Winery
13181 Road 24
Madera, CA   93637-9087
(559) 678-8068

The Vineyard Restaurant & Bar
605 S I St
Madera, CA   93637-4613
(559) 674-0923

Erna's Elderberry House
48688 Victoria Ln
Oakhurst, CA   93644-9215
(559) 683-6800

Riva Grill on the Lake
900 Ski Run Blvd Ste 3
South Lake Tahoe, CA   96150-9000
(530) 542-2600


Apre's Wine Co.
3668 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA   96150-8969
(530) 544-9463

Zachary Jacques
1821 Pleasant Valley Rd
Placerville, CA   95667-8553
(530) 626-8045

Winterhill Farms
321 Main St
Placerville, CA   95667-5605
(530) 626-6369

384 Main St
Placerville, CA   95667-5606
(530) 344-7757

Sequoia Restaurant

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
1075 E 20th St
Chico, CA   95928-6722
(530) 893-3520

Chester's Red Onion Grill
384 Main St.
Chester, CA   96020
(530) 258-1800

Buz's Crab Seafood Restaurant, Market and Deli
2159 East St
Redding, CA   96001-2037
(530) 243-2120

The Firehouse
1112 2nd St
Sacramento, CA   95814-3204
(916) 442-4772

Delta King
1000 Front St
Sacramento, CA   95814-3231
(800) 825-5464